Taking August Seriously

Europe’s holiday month of August is no time for serious politics – the world and its worries are meant to close down while Europeans repose. But, even on vacation, one cannot escape the effects of the massive transformations wrought by globalization.

TOULOUSE – Europe’s holiday month of August is no time for serious politics. The world and its worries are meant to close down while Europeans repose.

I usually spend the month with my family at our old converted farmhouse in southwestern France. It is the deepest countryside. As I write this under a vine in my vegetable garden, I look west across wooded hills and cannot see another building.

In our hamlet, there is one small working farm, a couple of holiday houses and the ruins of seven or eight other houses. A century ago, this would have been a community of more than 50 people. Today, there are two full-time residents, the farmer and her elderly mother. Otherwise, the inhabitants are vacation visitors.

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